The Dawn of Biohacking: Using Biomarkers to Optimize Your Unique Wiring For Peak Performance and Health – Chris Kelly

You know your body better than anyone else, so you know when things aren’t feeling “right”.

Unfortunately, traditional healthcare doesn’t typically cater to runners.

Reference ranges are determined without the athlete in mind, and when you express symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, or maybe IBS to the average practitioner, you’re often prescribed medication as a short term solution to a longterm problem.

Enter functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and “biohacker” Christopher Kelly.

Chris is the founder of a company called Nourish Balance Thrive that provides athletes with science-based, personally customized support programs based on their unique wiring.

A program is created with an athlete’s specific biomarkers in mind, which are substances indicative of disease, infection, or environmental exposure that help Chris and his team pinpoint what might be holding that athlete back.

Chris then creates a special diet and lifestyle plan that will trigger optimal gene expression (i.e. allow you to achieve peak athletic performance, improve your longterm health, and, ya know, just make you feel really, really good).

After effectively reversing his Type II diabetes and going from recreational cycler to now pro, Chris wanted to share the methods he discovered through trial and error with athletes like him.

He started Nourish Balance Thrive back in 2013, and he’s now working with two medical professionals and two engineers to develop software for blood interpretation that he believes will change sports medicine (and healthcare in general) as we know it.

Listen in as Chris discusses “biohacking” and explains two biomarkers he and his team have found to be paramount to performance and longevity.

Chris Kelly RTTT image

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Key biomarkers and their importance
  • Chris’s personal story and reversing progressive diabetes
  • Understanding diet and dietary adjustments
  • How training slow can increase your performance
  • The role of stress in our lives
  • Questions Chris is asked:

    4:40 Tell us about Nourish Balance Thrive

    5:26 How do you help athletes adjust diets and lifestyles?

    7:31 What is Fasting Blood Glucose?

    9:17 How did your team determine optimal reference ranges?

    10:41 How does elevated fasting blood glucose work as a biomarker and what does it mean?

    11:21 What is Hemoglobin A1C?

    12:22 Where do traditional reference ranges for elevated fasting blood glucose come from?

    17:18 So you studied people who are pre-diabetes?

    18:30 What factors might cause Hemoglobin A1C to be falsely high?

    20:26 What elevates these numbers?

    23:42 How did you reverse your Type II Diabetes?

    26:38 Should endurance athletes move to a diet higher in fat and protein vs. carbs?

    28:52 Does everyone have some degree of gluten intolerance?

    30:13 How do you test clients for food allergies?

    34:13 What foods should be temporarily avoided for food allergen diagnostics?

    35:30 How do you ensure people notice differences or changes?

    38:02 Did you have difficulties removing these foods from your diet?

    40:18 What is Polarized Training?

    43:20 Does this affect ‘perceived effort’?

    45:46 How should runners monitor Heart Rate?

    47:04 How does stress relate to Hemoglobin A1C and Fast Blood Glucose?

    50:23 What about nutrient deficiency?

    55:27 Are probiotics helpful?

    57:07 How can listeners find you and what services can you offer them?

    1:01:37 Final Kick

    Quotes by Chris:

    “You can’t possibly fix a problem without understanding what caused it.”

    “It’s always interesting to look at a study that’s being done on people who don’t have a problem.”

    “I wouldn’t try and claim that everybody is sensitive to gluten, nor would I try and claim that removing gluten from your diet makes it a healthy diet.”

    “Let’s say you’ve got the suspicion that you’re sensitive to milk or cheese or soy or nuts or gluten or something else, the gold standard is to remove those foods from your diet for a period, see how you do and then experiment with reintroducing them.”

    “Every time I go and do something, I’m always looking for small differences.”

    “I find that once you get good at noticing these small changes, you won’t just notice them in your environment around you, you’ll also notice them in yourself.”

    “One person’s greatest problem is going to be not an issue at all for the next person and vice versa.”

    “Different people respond in different ways to stress and your job is to find the tools that allow you to appropriately manage stress.”

    Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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    Mentioned in this podcast:
    Elite Performance Program
    Blood Glucose Test Kit
    Dr. Bryan Walsh
    Generation UCAN Superstarch
    Book: Counterclockwise – Ellen Langer
    Book: The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing – Philip Maffetone
    Book: The Endurance Handbook: How to Achieve Athletic Potential, Stay Healthy, and Get the Most Out of Your Body – Philip Maffetone
    Jeff Galloway on Run To The Top
    Chris Kelly’s Podcast
    Book: Ready to Run – Kelly Starrett
    Fasted State Training article from Ultra Running

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